The Maxims & Counsels of Saint Benedict Joseph
Thirty useful sentiments of the Servant of God [St] Benedict
Joseph Labre, drawn from the history of his life.
- By the grace of God we can do everything. We can remain unhurt in
the midst of the fire, like the three holy youths in the furnace of
- Everything may be done by the help of God, provided we have a sincere
- To communicate through obedience is better and more pleasing to God,
than to abstain from it through humility.
- It is never allowable to use or keep anything when we know it has been
- It is never lawful to tell a lie; we ought always to speak the truth,
whatever it may cost us.
- We offend God, because we do not know his greatness.
- He who knows what God is, studies to avoid sin.
- The want of proper examination, true contrition, and a firm purpose of
amendment, is the cause of bad confessions, and of the ruin of souls.
- In this world we are all in a valley of tears. Our consolation is not
here; we shall have it eternally in Paradise, if we suffer tribulations on
- God afflicts us because he loves us; and it is very pleasing to him,
when in our afflictions he sees us abandon ourselves to his paternal
- Where fraternal charity is concerned, everything should be sacrificed.
- Those only are to be called poor and unhappy, who are in hell, who
have lost God for eternity, not those who are poor on earth.
- However much we suffer for the love of Jesus Crucified, it is but
- Let him who seeks true humility, employ two means: mental prayer,
meditating on the greatness of God, and his own nothingness; vocal prayer,
asking it of God, through the merits of Jesus and Mary.
- By talking and irreverence in churches, we show disrespect to Almighty
God in his own house.
- Acts of irreverence in churches are sins which greatly displease God;
they horrify the angels, and do great harm to the soul.
- If there were only one person to be condemned, each should fear to be
- We should often meditate on the pains of hell, in order to abhor
mortal sin, which casts us into it for all eternity; and think of the
small number of the elect, that we may live in fear.
- The Providence of God is never wanting to him who confides in God as
- With regard to corporal provision, we should not think of a future
day, according to the advice of our blessed Redeemer: "Be not solicitous
for the morrow." God who provides for today, will also provide for
Particular sentiments concerning true poverty, which the
Servant of God wonderfully loved and practised.
- The poor should live by alms.
- A little suffices for the support of the body; what is superfluous,
will only serve to furnish the worms with a greater feast.
- A poor man does not seek a bed in order to sleep, he throws himself
- Conveniences are not for the poor.
- Poor people should not use a loaf; they should be content with
- The poor should not carry money in their travels.
- The poor should not eat dainties.
- The poor should not be well clad.
- The poor should not drink wine: it is not necessary; water suffices to
[Antonio Maria Coltraro (d. 1797), The Life of the Venerable
Servant of God, Benedict Joseph Labre. (Oratorian series: "The Saints
and Servants of God.") London. Thomas Richardson and Son. 1850.